AMS Climate Studies is an introductory climate science course provided by the American Meteorological Society to undergraduate institutions for local offering. The course is prepared by meteorologists and climatologists nationally recognized in atmospheric science education. Development for this course was supported, in part, by NASA. Students are introduced to the many elements of Earth's climate system.

How can the course be implemented?

  • As a NEW institutional course offering.
  • To REVISE an existing course at your institution.
  • To EXPAND an existing course by adding a laboratory component.
  • As the FOCUS of an online course, or as individual directed study.

Who can offer the course?

AMS Climate Studies can be offered by experienced science faculty or those new to teaching climatology. Collegial assistance is available to all new instructors.

We have large numbers of atmospheric scientists, geographers, geologists, and physicists successfully offering the course, as well as those from disciplines such as engineering and chemistry.

During course implementation and instruction, collegial assistance is available from faculty members who have already offered AMS Climate Studies. Also, AMS science educators will answer any questions on all aspects of course delivery and content. This course enables faculty members to expand and/or update their curriculum and join the ranks of colleagues teaching with the latest technology.

What are the course components?

Textbook - The 14-chapter Our Changing Climate: Introduction to Climate Science (© 2014) text covers the fundamental principles in understanding Earth's climate system as a whole. The primary author of the text is Dr. Chad M. Kauffman (California University of Pennsylvania). The textbook contains end-of-chapter Review and Critical Thinking Questions.

Investigations Manual - A set of student learning investigations is coordinated with the text chapters. Investigations lead the student through analysis and interpretation of current climatological data. Weekly Current Climate Studiesposted to the RealTime Climate Portal during fall and spring semesters may be used to reinforce Manual investigations using more current climate data and information.

RealTime Climate Portal - The Portal delivers Weekly Climate News, current climate data, and Current Climate Studies in real time during the fall and spring semesters and as archived material throughout the year. To access the Portal, aLogin ID and Password are required by all licensed students and faculty. A special site is available for all faculty considering this course offering, where the Portal and course delivery mechanisms may be previewed. Go to theRealTime Climate Portal site to view samples of website components.

Current Climate Studies - Challenging lab activities with real-time excitement! - Course investigations are self-contained in the eInvestigations Manual or may be completed using the Manual introductory section with Current Climate Studies delivered on the course website. Current Climate Studies investigations expand on important concepts using current or recent climate data and are delivered on a weekly schedule.

Faculty Resource Material and Website - The resource material is comprised of the faculty manual, Investigations Manual answer forms compatible with course management systems, test bank questions, chapter progress questins, and textbook images. The faculty manual describes the course and its components and contains suggestions for course implementation in a variety of classroom settings. Included for each textbook chapter is an outline, summary, and learning objectives. 

When are the real-time course components delivered?

The real-world case studies in the Investigations Manual allow the combination of Manual and eTextbook to function as a full course. Many institutions offering the course during fall and spring semesters may choose to use Current Climate Studies on the RealTime Climate Portal to expand on important concepts using current or recent data.

Current Climate Studies are posted by about noon Eastern Time on Mondays. During fall and spring semesters, Current Climate Studies files accumulate in the "Archives" section of the RealTime Climate Portal as the semester progresses. To assist with aligning college and AMS delivery schedules, in Week 1 of the course schedule AMS posts Current Ocean Studies investigations for Chapters 1-3.Current Climate Studies answer keys and Respondus-compatible files will be posted to the faculty website on the same schedule.

View the real-time course delivery schedule

How do I integrate this course with my Course Management System?

The Investigations Manual, Current Climate Studies learning investigations, chapter progress, and test banks can be ported into your system’s quizzing function for automated scoring and immediate student feedback. This feature allows for full integration into an e-learning environment. We provide course management system-compatible files in Respondus format, software for which many campuses are licensed.

View the Course Management System Integration page to learn about the easy three step process for porting our files into your system.

How do I host this course at my college?

If you would like to use the entire AMS Climate Studies course package, which includes the eTextbook, Investigations Manual, and access to the RealTime Climate Portal and Faculty Websites, your college will need to have an activeCourse License on file with the AMS Education Program. The Course License fee (from August 15th to August 14th) is $149 per institution, regardless of number of sections or number of students.

With an AMS Climate Studies license, your college receives:

  • AMS Climate Studies full course use for the term(s) licensed
  • Faculty Resource materials, eText, and eInvestigations Manual
  • Instructor Access to AMS Climate Studies RealTime Climate Portal
  • Instructor Access to AMS Climate Studies Faculty Website
  • Files Compatible with Course Management Systems

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us at onlineclimate@ametsoc.org or 1-800-824-0405.